my mental image of The Bubble.
A few weeks back I wrote about the potentially toxic nature of secrets.
(Aside: I wrote about how I’m terrible at keeping secrets about gifts. A friend clarified presents are *surprises* not secrets. A surprise has an expiration date, a secret does not. Intriguing distinction.)
In that same navel-gazing post, I chatted about employing The Bubble in my parenting. I shared how I use it as a place The Child asks to enter and can dump out any secrets she’s been holding.
More than a few of you asked for more information on what The Bubble is, how we use it, at what age we began using it and if I think it’s “working.”
I give you:
Parenting inside The Bubble.
The Bubble isn’t mine.
I wish I could remember where I learned about it as I’m confident I could not have come up with the idea on my own (I googled to no avail). I just launched it one afternoon
in a tween years are coming panic and now can’t recall what prompted me to introduce it.
At absolutely any time The Child may ask to enter The Bubble and talk about what’s on her mind.
The Bubble is about connection.
I shared the idea with eight-year-old her in this fashion:
As you get older you may have things you want to share, but are afraid to. You may be scared you’ll get in trouble. You may worry I’ll be disappointed. When you have those feelings—ask to go inside The Bubble. Anything you say inside there we’ll leave there when we exit.
The Bubble is like Las Vegas.
For now, what happens inside stays inside as long as she’s not talking about hurting herself or others.
The Bubble provides her a safe place to go and share without focusing only on fear of judgement or repercussion.
The Bubble has a clear beginning (asking to go in lets me know she needs to talk. immediately.) and a clear ending (the time for talking about the issue, at least for now, is officially over).
The Bubble is silly.
To everyone’s shock, given how much time she spends with her sweet-tongued mama, The Child has a trash mouth. She studiously avoids really bad words (stupid, retarded, hate etc. have I mentioned I love ten?), but adores a well-placed FUCKEN (sic).
It’s our love language. It’s her way of telling me, in a certain moment, how powerfully she feels affection. Initially, The Bubble was summoned only to shout things like I FUCKEN love you! or You’re FUCKEN awesome! without receiving the side-eye. I didn’t mind as it
cracked me the hell up was proof she grasped the concept.
The Bubble is about trust-building and learning.
The Bubble is about her learning to trust me now when stuff isn’t as big as it may be later. The Bubble is about her learning to trust herself with regards to when and what to share. The Bubble is about learning it’s not good to hold everything inside. The Bubble is about learning when we shine light on our fears they’re not as bad as we believe and when we share our burdens they grow lighter.
her mental image of The Bubble.
As of now she’s used The Bubble for only a handful of serious things.
I know life is pretty easy and “serious” for age ten isn’t where it might be even six months from now.
Do I imagine at age 13 she’ll ask to go in The Bubble and share heavy stuff from Middle School?
Quite frankly I don’t think so, but it’s all about this Catherine Wallace quote for me:
Older-Child may not share as readily.
I hope, however, memories of feeling free to share what feels like big stuff with me now may make it more likely she’ll bring the truly bigbig stuff to me later.
Inside The Bubble or not.
- Did your parents use anything resembling The Bubble?
- How are you striving to lay the communication-foundation with your child(ren)?